2nd 2009
Where are my mountains?

Posted under: American history, fluff, local news, unhappy endings

nomountainsLost in a haze of California wild fire smoke!  I took this photo from my dashboard with my cell phone camera as I drove West to work today.  Ordinarily on a cloudless September morning I would see a whole swath of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains behind the lower shadows of the foothills as the sun rose.  As you can see–or can’t see–I got nothin’ today or yesterday, and the haze was clearly perceptible in the late afternoon yesterday just walking around town.  The darker mass of foothills is apparent, but above that is just a haze of smoke.  A few bits of snowy peaks might periodically emerge–but otherwise, it looked like I was driving across northern Indiana.

Here’s a story describing the smoky haze in Colorado and an excellent photo from the Denver Post from last night–again, this is a westward-looking view of Denver, and it’s seriously weird not to see those mountains in the background.  I heard on the radio this morning that some towns in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska were so choked with smoke that visibility was less than 1/4 mile in some places.  I can only imagine what southern Cali is like right now–I hope all of my friends and readers out there are doing OK with their air quality!  I can’t even offer to bring you out here to recuperate, like the invalid Clara, Heidi-style in the clear mountain air…


Photo by Karl Gehring, The Denver Post


11 Responses to “Where are my mountains?”

  1. Shane in Utah on 02 Sep 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    Yeah, we had the smoky haze here in Northern Utah earlier this week, but the winds on Monday night seem to have cleaned out the valley. So now it’s made its way that far east! Crazy…

  2. Sisyphus on 02 Sep 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Are you freaking kidding me??? You are nowhere near LA! Not even the Valley! Dude, maybe I _should_ be packing up my evacuation kit and wearing a mask. Crazy!

  3. Susan on 02 Sep 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    I drove up to the foothills of the Sierras for lunch today, and you could really smell the smoke up there… but the prevailing winds send the smoke in your direction, not mine.

  4. Comrade PhysioProf on 02 Sep 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    You live in Califuckingfornia!?!?!?

  5. Historiann on 02 Sep 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    It’s no joke, Sisyphus–it was worse yesterday afternoon and evening, actually. It’s still hazy in the mountains, but they’re at least visible as shadows now. (And this is in Colofrakkinrado, not Califrakkinfornia!)

    Perhaps the wind that blew through Shane’s neighborhood is making its way eastward. And Susan–nice picnic idea!

  6. Indyanna on 02 Sep 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    Wow, my pop-up blocker went crazy when I tried to click on that link from the _Post_, but it finally coughed up, as it were, the story. We’ll be looking for this thing here in northern Indyanna in the next few days. Meanwhile, I guess there’ll be no requests for “class outside” at Baa Ram U.

  7. Paul on 02 Sep 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Hmm, just looking at that picture and I would have thought that it was in eastern Colorado, before you can see the mountains.

    I wonder if some effect of this smoke will be visible all the way over on the east coast?

  8. Historiann on 02 Sep 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    I don’t know, Paul–you might watch out for some spectacular sunsets over the next few days!

    Indyanna, the air on the ground here was better today. Here’s hoping, anyway.

  9. Barb on 03 Sep 2009 at 8:33 am #

    We had a pretty good sunset here in south central Texas last night, although I didn’t think to connect it to the fires near LA. My poor brother is a prof at UCLA, but is currently housebound with two dogs and two small children, none of whom can go outside because the air is so bad!

  10. Sisyphus on 03 Sep 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    with two dogs and two small children, none of whom can go outside because the air is so bad!

    heh how is that different from the usual state of the LA basin?

    BTW the LA times has some amazing photos of what’s going on there right now:,0,5985825.htmlstory

  11. Historiann on 03 Sep 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    Wow–those photos look like they’re out of the Book of Revelations, Sis! Apolcalyptic!

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